The Ultimate Accountability Partner
I think this may be the longest blog post I’ve written. It’s a topic that’s dear to my heart and I hope this post blesses yours.
If you’re tight on time, you may want to come back to this when you have a few minutes. When you’re ready, with your cup of coffee (or tea!), settle in and read on...
If you’ve worked with me, read my book, or listened to me talk about health, you’ll know that I’m big on having an accountability partner to walk through your journey of health with you.
Unfortunately, while we may all have the best of intentions, often an accountability partnership can fizzle out.
Maybe you’ve had some of the experiences I’ve had. I’m always on the lookout for an accountability partner that is committed to running consistently. But, more often than not, my partners have:
· Become disinterested in running
· Forgotten our running dates
· Texted to cancel at the last minute (while I’m already at our meeting site or close to it!)
· Developed an injury (and sometimes I do too!)
· Had difficulty getting out of bed on a cold morning
While we often do our best as accountability partners, none of us is perfect. Even when we want the best for ourselves.
But there is one accountability partner who is perfect. And this partner will never show up late, will never have excuses to back out, and will never leave you standing there trying to encourage yourself.
Who is this partner? It’s the Holy Spirit.
Wait a minute!...
What in the world does this have to do with a healthy lifestyle?
Believe it or not…it has a LOT to do with it.
And here’s how…
The Holy Spirit is probably the most confusing of the members of the trinity for believers. We are all well familiar with Jesus (the Son) and God (the Father). But the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, as some call Him) is a bit more of a mystery.
Before I share how He is the ultimate accountability partner, I’d like to share a little bit more about Him so you understand who He is and what He does.
The Holy Spirit is actually the first member of the trinity that is called by name in the bible. In Genesis 1:2, we read that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (NIV)” The Holy Spirit is the One who accomplishes God’s will here on earth. God willed creation, the Holy Spirit got to work creating our world. The Holy Spirit works to carry out God’s will in this world, but also within each of us. The Spirit breathed life into Adam. Jesus was also conceived by the Holy Spirit when Mary became pregnant.
When God wills it, the Holy Spirit accomplishes it.
This is why, when Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of His followers. The Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of believers and is a powerful force available to us at any moment of the day or night. And He accomplishes God’s will within our hearts. The Holy Spirit is the go-between for people and God (the Father).
Whenever we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes to the Father on our behalf. And He also speaks to us of God’s will and plan for us if we open our hearts and ears to hear from Him.
Still with me? Good!
Now that we know a bit more about the Holy Spirit, what does He have to do with our health journey?
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, we’re told:
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies. (NIV)
This means that the way we treat our bodies is important because we are temples that need to be used by the Holy Spirit to carry out God’s will for us and for the world. And one crucial piece of this is growing closer to the Holy Spirit so we can gain clarity on our calling.
As the ultimate accountability partner, He:
· Is our teacher (1 John 2:27)
· Is our helper (John 14:26)
· Is our personal guide (John 16:13)
· Directs us (Galatians 5:16)
· Reveals God’s specific will for us (1 Corinthians 2:9-16)
· Renews and regenerates us (Titus 3:5)
· Empowers us (Luke 24:49)
· Comforts us (John 14:16-18)
· Pours God’s love into us (Romans 5:5)
*To access a more complete list of the Holy Spirit’s roles, check out my book TRUE Health.
Not only does the Holy Spirit do all of these things, but His character also makes Him the ultimate accountability partner.
Check out the features of His character:
· He is in tune with our emotions and situation.
· He is tender and gentle.
· He doesn’t push His way into a relationship with us. Instead, He offers and allows us to make the choice.
· He is never late.
· He is always available, at any time we need Him.
· He is peace and joy…and we experience peace and joy when we know Him better.
I encourage you, as you are on your own health journey, to spend some time each day growing this relationship with the ultimate accountability partner. I am amazed at how my life has changed, and how my health has changed, through this relationship.
I feel more confident and peaceful. I don’t run to food for comfort. When I don’t know which way to go, I can get direction and perspective by turning to Him.
Not sure where to start? A great first step is to spend some time each day (preferably in the morning) talking to Him. It can be helpful to start with reading some Scripture and then asking Him for help in illuminating it and helping you understand how it applies directly to your life. The book of Acts is a great place to start. This is where we first hear of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of the disciples.
And, remember, you can turn to him at any time during the day. When you’re tired. When you’re stressed out. When that pint of Ben & Jerry’s is telling you to come drown your sorrows.
It may seem strange at first, but I promise it’ll get easier as you spend this time together each day. Just let it be a natural. Don’t force it.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing more about having a relationship with the Holy Spirit and how it applies to our health. If you want to dive a little deeper, I write about this in greater detail in my book TRUE Health, which you can read more about here.
I’m writing this message to you with a prayer and a wish for you to experience the fulfillment of living out your calling as you step into TRUE Health, friend.